25 of the best fictional planets to visit

KRYPTON (Photo by: SYFY)
KRYPTON (Photo by: SYFY) /
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fictional planets
(Photo credit should read MATTHIAS BALK/DPA/AFP via Getty Images) /

21. Discworld

Does a world count as a planet if it’s not exactly planet-shaped? While we’re at it, what are your feelings about massive space-faring turtles?

Considering that it’s a self-contained world with a budding space program, Discworld has to count, right? The fact that it’s a disc sitting on the backs of four huge elephants, themselves standing on the back of an even larger turtle flying through space shouldn’t count against it.

As created by author Terry Pratchett, Discworld is more of a fantasy series, what with the immortal gods, wizards, and personified figure of Death itself. At the same time, it is pretty clear that Discworld is its own realm with some very distinct rules.

For one, there’s the Great A’Tuin. That’s the aforementioned turtle, whose existence has been proved by intrepid Discworld scientists. However, the turtle’s biological sex is still a matter of heated debate in scientific circles.

Where we’re headed

So, too, is the Great A’Tuin’s destination. Some worry that the turtle is on its way to the “Time of Mating,” whereupon some, uh, vigorous activity might make the Discworld and all its people slide off the turtle’s back.

At least for now, Discworld seems pretty firmly rooted in place. The night sky changes constantly, which is either a boon or a great burden for the world’s astronomers. A tiny moon and sun rotate around the disc system. The moon, which is burned on one side by the sun, also plays host to lunar dragons. Pretty standard stuff, of course.

It’s not all science, though. Discworld is also chock-full of magic and mystery. It’s so thoroughly magical that it has an Unseen University to train wizards. Similarly, Death is a personified force and regular character, while witches, goblins, dragons, and other mythical figures are very real.